Today I read one of Leroy Dudley’s stories from “Chimney Pond Tales” called “Pamola Has a Smoke”. Chimney Pond is located in the basin of Mt. Katahdin, an absolutely amazing and even majestic place. I’ve been there over a dozen times myself and each time is better than the last. If you’ve never been there, it’s definitely worth the drive from Boston (or even a flight to Bangor and a drive from there). I included a few pictures in this post from previous visits to Katahdin.
In this story, Dudley had climbed up to Pamola’s Peak to smoke some tobacco out of his pipe, one of his favorite activities while spending the summer at Chimney Pond. By this time, Dudley had already made friends with Pamola, the giant winged moose who protected the mountain. According to the local Penobscot Indian tribe, Pamola was the god of thunder. Pamola saw how much Dudley enjoyed smoking his pipe so he asked Dudley to go into town and make him a pipe. Dudley did just that and brought him a 50 gallon tar barrel with an attached pipe three inches in diameter and ten feet long (also Pamola was huge, see the cover of the book for reference). When he brought the pipe back to Pamola, he filled it with balsam boughs, birch bark, and tarred paper and lit it on fire. Pamola was ecstatic until he accidentally lit his majestic beard on fire. Immediately he flew from his perch on Pamola’s Peak and dive bombed into Chimney Pond, making the pond boil with the heat. Distraught that his beard was burned off he moped around the mountain for a few days in a depressed state. He even refused to help the moon crest over the Knife’s Edge (the ridge between Pamola Peak and Baxter Peak) and the moon was stuck there for several days. After giving the issue some thought, Dudley rubbed Pamola’s beard with fertilizer and it instantly grew 12 feet long. Dudley had to chop most of it off with his axe, which he had to resharpen due to the strength of Pamolas beard. He then told Pamola to go wash the fertilizer off or else his beard would continue to grow forever. Pamola was incredibly grateful and added this to the list of reasons he liked Leroy Dudley.
About the Author Leroy Dudley:
During the first half of this century, Leroy Dudley, Guide and spinner of tales at Chimney Pond on maine’s Mount Katahdin, enchanted countless outdoor enthusiasts with his yarns about Pamola, the Penobscot Indian God of thunder who protected the mountain. (Courtesy of Chimney Pond Tales assembled by Clayton Hall and Jane Thomas with Elizabeth Hall Harmon).
- Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield